Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Book Review: Around the Table That Grandad Built by Melanie Heuiser Hill and Jaime Kim


This is the table that Grandad built.
These are the sunflowers picked by my cousins,
set on the table that Grandad built.

In a unique take on the cumulative classic “This Is the House That Jack Built,” a family gathers with friends and neighbors to share a meal around a table that brims with associations: napkins sewn by Mom, glasses from Mom and Dad’s wedding, silverware gifted to Dad by his grandma long ago. Not to mention the squash from the garden, the bread baked by Gran, and the pies made by the young narrator (with a little help). 

I KNOW we haven't had Halloween yet, but I have to give you time to order things, right? And you will want this book for your Thanksgiving read-alouds!

We steer away from the Indians-and-Pilgrims books here, so I am always on the lookout for something that talks about tradition and gratitude - the original purposes behind the Thanksgiving holiday. And, you know: food! 

All of these things abound in the easy rhythmic lines of this book. I love that so many things are handmade, or have special memories behind them. Our serving dishes are all handed down from my late mother in law, which makes it feel a little bit like she is still with us. I also love the rainbow of skin colors, and the fact that many of the dishes (samosas! yum!) are not the 'traditional' Thanksgiving fare (we always have dumfkraut!)

The illustrations are colorful and expressive. I love (how many times have I used that word so far?) the kids helping to carry and cook, with the expressions of the adults saying they want them to help but FOR THE LOVE OF PETE DON'T DROP THE GLASSES!

In short, this is a joyful, inclusive book you can read in any classroom or library time. Setting it aside right now for ours!

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